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Free Graphics Tools

Good-looking graphics make a Web site interesting and eye-catching. They are indispensable for displaying your logo, showing what a product looks like, or sharing your firstborn's first smile. To use them effectively you're going to need some graphics tools.

There's quite a variety of free graphics tools available online. Some enable you to create complex images from scratch, while others offer a specialized function, such as designing a logo.

Full-blown professional image editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop, can cost hundreds of dollars. But there are several completly functional free editors that will suffice for most Webmasters. You can find them using the link at the end of this article.

You will discover both online editors, and downloadable programs that run from your own hard drive. If you're undertaking more than an image or two, choose a tool that you can run from your own computer. As nifty as they are, using the online editors can be slow and cumbersome.

Even with a good graphics editor, creating good looking images from scratch can be difficult and time consuming, especially if you're technically challenged or not an artist. Some webmasters bypass the "from scratch" route in favor of free shortcut tools that simplify a particular task. For example, several tools, such as CoolText allow you to enter a few words of text, and with a few mouse clicks transform them into flaming or glowing letters, 3D images, or other nifty graphics.

Although nifty graphics can attract and impress visitors, they can also drive them away. This happens because every graphic that is added to your Web page will increase the time it takes to load. Impatient surfers aren't going to wait. As a courtesy to them, it's vital that you optimize your images for the Web.

Optimization shrinks the images file size, and thus its loading time, with little or no reduction in the quality of the image. There are plenty of free online tools that will crunch jpg or gif images for you. Most will present you several versions of the image, incorporating different degrees of optimization. Choose the one that provides the greatest savings in file size without dropping image quality to unacceptable levels.

You can find optimizers, graphics editors, and miscellaneous cool image tools in the Free Graphics Tools section of this site.

Are you ready to search for free graphics tools?

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